I happen to think that I grew up in the best of musical times. I began my musical journey in the early 1960s with the famed British Invasion and there was no going back. I listened to Top 40 radio and bought all the teen magazines so that I could stay up-to-date with all things pop. By 1969 I discovered FM radio and my musical tastes grew and I was able to discover more and more musicians to follow and got the magic age where I could actually attend shows…. And because of the magic of the internet, I’m able to document that I saw Jonathan Edwards for the first time on May 6, 1971. I had heard “Sunshine” on the radio and knew that I had to get myself into that show. I wasn’t yet in college and I’m not exactly sure how I found out he was playing but I ended up getting into that show and being able to see Jonathan do his thing followed by Badfinger. Wow! I was in heaven.
Here are some of my fave picks from Jonathan Edwards’ self-titled album which, in my mind, is a classic album.
Don’t Cry Blue
To come full circle, I was also in attendance of the concert where this video was shot. (Thank you, Steve Ide!) This is a more countrified version and jam-filled version of “Don’t Cry Blue” than the one on the album. Here we have Jonathan really letting loose on the harmonica, Stuart Schulman fiddling like crazy, and the agile mandolin stylings of the North Shore’s own Taylor Armerding.
“Athens County” is another crowd pleasing tune. It tells the story of a troubadour….on the road….and singing some sweet tunes just like this one. If this song doesn’t get your foot a-tappin’, then I don’t know what to say. Some more great picking and singing by Jonathan, Stuart and Taylor
“Shanty” is the ultimate party song. As Jonathan says in this clip, it’s an end-of-the-work week song about putting a good buzz on. Jonathan is joined once again by the incredible Stuart Schulman on fiddle and bass and the amazing Cheryl Prashker on percussion. This song is utterly Infectious with a capital I.
The song “Sometimes (In the Morning) absolutely slays me. It is so intimate and the way that Jonathan gently sings the words and caresses his guitar chords. It’s perfect. This song strikes a place in my soul that not many songs do.
The “big” HIT. This is the tune that hit the Billboard charts and has a real history of its own. It’s one of those classic 1970s songs that everyone seems to know the words to and will sing along at the drop of a hat. Jonathan explains the genesis of the song in this clip.
There you have it….five of my favorite Jonathan Edwards songs all on his very first album. And I have to pleasure of presenting Jonathan and his trio in concert on Friday, September 7, 2012 at the me&thee coffeehouse in Marblehead, MA.